Marketers knew it was going to happen sooner or later, and it finally did in 2013 – US online ad revenue passed up broadcast TV ad revenue for the first time. Ad revenue online hit $42.8 billion in 2013 according to the latest report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, while TV ad revenue was only $40.1 billion in 2013.
Of course, that's not the same as the total TV ad spend, since cable TV accounts for a huge amount of ad revenue. The total TV ad spend, counting network, syndication, spot, and cable TV, was $66 billion in 2013. Still, it's an important milestone, as online ads grew some 17 percent over 2012 numbers. Mobile ad spend grew 110 percent, reaching $7.1 billion.
“The news that interactive has outperformed broadcast television should come as no surprise,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “It speaks to the power that digital screens have in reaching and engaging audiences. In that same vein, the staggering growth of mobile is clearly a direct response to how smaller digital screens play an integral role in consumers' lives throughout the day, as well as their critical importance to cross-screen experiences.”